KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has planned ‘stern’ action against big retailers who refused to install automated point-of-sale system for recording their transactions with the tax authorities on real-time basis, sources said on Tuesday.
The sources said some big retailers located in various shopping markets refused to digitally integrate their sales and purchases with the FBR.
Sources in Regional Tax Office – II Karachi said some retailers had refused to install infrastructure for sharing their sales and purchases to the online portal of the FBR, during a meeting with a market committee about two days back.
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The sources said a commissioner has been empowered to seal any business premises on violating the orders of the FBR under the tax laws. Further, the FBR is also planning to invoke provisions related to monetary penalty, they added.
Last date for integrating point-of-sale application for tier-1 retailer was December 15, 2019. The FBR offices designated officers of various shopping malls and markets to help big retailers synchronise their systems by December 31, 2019.
The sources said retailers having outlets at shopping malls have already shown their intentions to integrate with the FBR and a few of them have installed the system. Besides, retailers who are registered for sales tax have also integrated their system with the FBR.
The sources said the FBR is facing resistance from the retailers, who fall in tier-1 category and have their shops in main markets. The integration of sales is mandatory for tier-1 retailers. The retailers under this category include those operating as a unit of a national or international chain of stores, in an air-conditioned shopping mall plaza or centre, excluding kiosks, those whose cumulative electricity bill during the immediately preceding 12 months exceeds Rs600,000, as a wholesaler-cum-retailer engaged in bulk import and supply of consumer goods on wholesale basis to retailers as well as on retail basis to the general body of the consumers, or a retailer whose shop measures 1,000 squares feet in the area or more.
The documentation of retail sector remains a thorny issue for the present government. The past government took several initiatives to bring retail segment into the documented economy but to no avail. However, it was the first time that FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi brought the retailers on the table and successfully signed a deal for documentation with them.
The sources said at the implementation phase of the agreement the retailers operating in black economy are showing reluctance to integrate their sales and purchases. They said the FBR is working on a fixed tax regime for small traders and shopkeepers but this regime would not be available for tier-1 retailers.
(This news/article originally appeared in The News on January 1st, 2020)